G Scale Tram Project

DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
108
14
West Lothian
As it turned out it was definitely testing, the tram in the video runs as smooth as I could wish, the Bachmann tram runs like an old Bachmann model, it waddles down the line and the power truck sounds rough.
The sooner the replacement traction motors arrive the better.

Now to sort out some baseboards for the modelling room test track.

Happy David
 

3 minutes of fame

3d printing, electronics and trams
14 Dec 2020
181
68
Lincolnshire
www.mgnr.uk
Which track did you go for? I'm using Cliff Barker gauge 1 track, as the rail profile and sleeper thickness is a lot less, leading to a finer and lower track representation. All G scale stock runs fine on this track - which I'm quite surprised at, all while being available in stainless steel and yet still cheaper than anything else on the market!

I have 2 Occre trams, both motorised with Appletree Railways axle hung motors along with a Wisbech and Upwell tram loco with coach and wagons, all of which I've 3D printed. These are all battery powered with cheap radio control systems from Amazon.

Construction on the railway started last weekend and I've 20m of track to lay. I've gone with 2'6" radius curves on the loops at each end and 5' on the main lines in between.

It will be great to see your progress!!
 

DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
108
14
West Lothian
Which track did you go for? I'm using Cliff Barker gauge 1 track, as the rail profile and sleeper thickness is a lot less, leading to a finer and lower track representation. All G scale stock runs fine on this track - which I'm quite surprised at, all while being available in stainless steel and yet still cheaper than anything else on the market!

I have 2 Occre trams, both motorised with Appletree Railways axle hung motors along with a Wisbech and Upwell tram loco with coach and wagons, all of which I've 3D printed. These are all battery powered with cheap radio control systems from Amazon.

Construction on the railway started last weekend and I've 20m of track to lay. I've gone with 2'6" radius curves on the loops at each end and 5' on the main lines in between.

It will be great to see your progress!!
We seem to think in similar ways, I decided on Cliff Barker track for the same reasons, for the indoor test track I may get some nickel silver rail for a short street section where I plan to solder the rails to 0.25mm copper clad.

Track curves: I have decided to use 750mm as my minimum radius, for space constraints in the modeling room (study) that could drop to 650mm, once in the garden I will be using the largest radius that fits the track plan, yet to be developed.

I looked at various options for control and I've settled on the locoremote system which will be fitted when the Appletree Railways units arrive, Tim has been having some problems with the Slaters wheels which have held things up.

An occre tram is planned for the future, having only moved house 4 weeks ago someone else has other priorities. Any railway locos will be live steam and so don't need to be accommodated in the modelling room.

It's a start, to what I am not entirely sure but I am taken by G gauge.

David
 

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
601
133
USA
I'm guessing the yellow and green wires at each end go to the head lamp, blue to the motor and the two white wires at one end to internal lights.
David,
I've had the dubious pleasure of fixing the Bachmann trams - I currently have 2 Christmas ones that light up but don't move when you power the track.
When you remove the motor bogie, I recall the wiring is visible on the underside of the floor. It is easy to spot that the head/tail lamps have a diode so they only light when power is in the 'right' direction.

The motors are very weak. They overheat and the brush gear area melts. I have replaced the motors - Bachmann's HO scale SD45 seems to have the same one, but whether it is designed for 14V-20V I do not know. The recommended solution is to toss the power bogie and replace it with a USA Trains 45T diesel bogie, or a Piko (I have a tram loco with a piko power truck and it seems to still be running.)

You might find this thread useful when the time comes:
Large Scale Central - Advanced Forum Detail Topic - Re-motoring a Bachmann 4-wheel Trolley

Since then I have found that the MABUCHI FK-130SH-09450 motor, which is readily available, is the same footprint so I bought a couple on eBay for $4 and I will be using them in future.
 
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DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
108
14
West Lothian
David,
I've had the dubious pleasure of fixing the Bachmann trams - I currently have 2 Christmas ones that light up but don't move when you power the track.
When you remove the motor bogie, I recall the wiring is visible on the underside of the floor. It is easy to spot that the head/tail lamps have a diode so they only light when power is in the 'right' direction.

The motors are very weak. They overheat and the brush gear area melts. I have replaced the motors - Bachmann's HO scale SD45 seems to have the same one, but whether it is designed for 14V-20V I do not know. The recommended solution is to toss the power bogie and replace it with a USA Trains 45T diesel bogie, or a Piko (I have a tram loco with a piko power truck and it seems to still be running.)

You might find this thread useful when the time comes:
Large Scale Central - Advanced Forum Detail Topic - Re-motoring a Bachmann 4-wheel Trolley

Since then I have found that the MABUCHI FK-130SH-09450 motor, which is readily available, is the same footprint so I bought a couple on eBay for $4 and I will be using them in future.
Fred,

Having had experiences with the Bachmann 0n30 streetcars and what I call the Bachmann wobble, it didn't come as a surprise last night when the red G gauge model had a similar wobble and rough sound. I already had replacing the whole Bachmann power truck in mind before purchasing the model with the Appletree traction motor.

The lilliput model seems a lot smoother, no wobble and runs without sounding like something is about to fail.

David
 

DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
108
14
West Lothian
Which track did you go for? I'm using Cliff Barker gauge 1 track, as the rail profile and sleeper thickness is a lot less, leading to a finer and lower track representation. All G scale stock runs fine on this track - which I'm quite surprised at, all while being available in stainless steel and yet still cheaper than anything else on the market!
What solder do you use with the Cliff Barker stainless steel rail, I have a small bottle of his flux but he doesn't say what solder to use, thanks.

David
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
28,172
2,897
Tamworth, Staffs.
I have had some success with the USA Trains motor block, as used in the GP 38-2.

This might well be the same block Fred mentioned?
It does encroach into the body of the tram, though.. I suppose it depends if you want to model the interior?

PhilP
 

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
601
133
USA
This might well be the same block Fred mentioned?
I'm not too familiar with them. I think mine was sold as a 45T switcher block. It looks like this with the top off. Most pics I've seen show the block under the trolley floor.

20201218_140542_block-wiring.jpg


Noel used a USAT F3 block which he cut into the floor:

 
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DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
108
14
West Lothian
I'm not too familiar with them. I think mine was sold as a 45T switcher block. It looks like this with the top off. Most pics I've seen show the block under the trolley floor.

View attachment 282195


Noel used a USAT F3 block which he cut into the floor:

Appletree Railway traction motor.
 

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tramwayknowledge

Tramway Modelling
22 Oct 2011
65
13
Fife
As someone who has 'modelled' trams in 12ins - 1 foot scale for 30 years and studied them for 50+ years I can tell you that the minimum curve radii set out in the textbooks published before the Great War were

Standard Gauge 45ft
Narrow Gauge (3ft - 3ft 6in) 35 ft

As g scale track is narrow gauge you would be accurate having a minimum radius of around 17 1/2 inches, which is (very) roughly 440mm

If you want to think in more modern terms; both Prague and Nottingham are standard gauge systems and have a minimum curve radius of 17m - which is roughly 750mm

Enjoy your tramway modelling ! I can't wait until the weather lets me get out to work on my garden tramway again.
 

DafyddElvy

Registered
10 Feb 2021
108
14
West Lothian
As someone who has 'modelled' trams in 12ins - 1 foot scale for 30 years and studied them for 50+ years I can tell you that the minimum curve radii set out in the textbooks published before the Great War were

Standard Gauge 45ft
Narrow Gauge (3ft - 3ft 6in) 35 ft

As g scale track is narrow gauge you would be accurate having a minimum radius of around 17 1/2 inches, which is (very) roughly 440mm

If you want to think in more modern terms; both Prague and Nottingham are standard gauge systems and have a minimum curve radius of 17m - which is roughly 750mm
Thank you for the information, it's nice to know my estimate of 750mm minimum radius wasn't that bad.
It also gives me a level of confidence that my plan to reduce the track radius to 650mm for the workshop test track should be okay, thanks.

David
 

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
30,364
3,640
North West Norfolk
I'm not too familiar with them. I think mine was sold as a 45T switcher block. It looks like this with the top off. Most pics I've seen show the block under the trolley floor.

View attachment 282195


That's not a Bachmann 45T bogie - they don't have skates.

That's possibly a USAT 44T bogie
 

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
5,100
713
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Yes, I concur, USAT always has the signature 4 pins sticking out of the end.

Also, the axle tips are a giveaway, the only other blocks that have the tips for suspension are the old style Aristo blocks, but the insides are different than the picture.

Greg
 

Jasper

Hey, I'm only being creative here.
11 Mar 2017
342
51
53
The Netherlands
I have a simple way of thinking about curve radius: the radius must be at least ten times the track gauge.
 

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
601
133
USA
As g scale track is narrow gauge you would be accurate having a minimum radius of around 17 1/2 inches, which is (very) roughly 440mm
45mm is only narrow gauge if you say it is. If you model in 10mm:ft or 1/32nd it is std gauge. If you model in 1/26th or 1/29th then it can also be std gauge.
 

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
601
133
USA
Appletree Railway traction motor.
I've always liked that idea. NWSL used to make a similar drive. You just have to tie it down so the motor doesn't rotate around the axle!
 

SevenOfDiamonds

Registered
3 Jan 2010
197
65
The Bachmann tram block has an 85mm wheelbase. It is the block from the USA Trains NW2/S4 (84mm wheelbase) that can be used to remotor the Bachmann trams, rather than the block from the USA Trains 44-tonner (71.7mm wheelbase).

Best wishes

David
 

Kayanbee

Registered
14 Sep 2014
26
9
Hampshire
I've been looking at the LGB trams for the money they are selling for it's a bit steep for model bashing.
My thinking just now is to get one of the occre tram kits, see how it all goes together make some notes and scratch build the Ringhoffer cars probably to 1:24 scale and accept/use modellers license for the track gauge. On my last visit to Prague I spent a day in the museum measuring trams, strangely they didn't find my activities unusual and it got me an invite in to the back shed where the restoration is carried out.

I've only been looking at options properly for about three weeks so I am still information gathering.
The first bits of track arrive this week so after the weekend I will well on my way doing something, I'm just not sure where this new venture is going to take me but it will definitely involve trams, my wife already knows that without asking.

David
Hi David, I have built all the OcCre trams and fit them with LED lighting & USA trains Motor units and I run them automatically on an exhibition layout I built with a shuttle unit. Keith